Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, writes to inform you about an arrest and alleged torture of a 16-year old boy in Zamboanga City by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on September 20, 2013. He is an alleged member of the Moro National Liberation Front.
Mudzmer Abdulla, 16 years of age, was arrested along with seven other men suspected to have taken part in the siege in Zamboanga City, Philippines by the Moro National Liberation Front.
According to Mudzmer, they were all wounded when they were forced to surrender. He said that the military commanded them to put their hands over their heads and to drop flat to the ground. After, the military in boots stepped on them and tied them up with a rope. After, they were kicked and punched as they were being forced to admit being MNLF fighters.
Mudzmer claimed that one of his companions was slashed to death by one of the military personnel when he denied involvement with the MNLF. Fearing for their lives, they all admitted to be members of MNLF under duress.
He was blindfolded and taken to a venue he believes to be the Southern City College since he overheard his captors. Mudzmer was interrogated and asked about the other men. In fear, he confessed that he is originally from Sulu and was part of a certain Commander Nasser Adja’s team. His commander has already been killed by the military.
Mudzmer had shrapnel wounds in his left ankle, right knee and his thighs that needed medical attention but rather than provide him health care, he was punched in the eye, kicked on his injured knee and stabbed at his right hand.
At dawn, Mudzmer was taken to Zamboanga City Central Police Station. According to him, this is when his captors took off his blindfolds. He was put in a detention cell with other alleged members of the MNLF. He said that though he was given bread that day, he along with the other detainees, were not provided food for five days. They were only given water.
Now, Mudzmer has been transferred to the San Ramon Penal and Prison Farm. He said that he was given a dental examination to verify his age but is yet to receive the result of the test.
He said that his co-detainees inside the cell have been treating him harshly and that some even takes his share of food during mealtime.
Mudzmer said that his father, who was an MNLF member, convinced him to join a peace rally to Zamboanga City. He was promised that they will be given five thousand pesos each and that after taking part in the peace rally, they will be becoming integrees of the government. They were given an armalite rifle and an MNLF uniform before leaving Sulu for Zamboanga.
Please write to the authorities in the Philippines to urge them to:
1. Transfer the custody of Mudzmer Abdullah from the San Ramon Penal and Prison Farm to the Department of Social Welfare and Development to ensure the protection of his rights and his best interests.
2. Call upon competent authorities to carry out prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the arrest and alleged torture of a minor and ensure that those who committed the crime be held accountable.
3. Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.
Please send your letters to:
1. His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Fax: +63 2 7361010
Tel: +63 2 7356201
2. Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila 1000
Republic of the Philippines
Fax: =63 2 5239548
Tel: +63 2 5211908
3. Hon. Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman
Secretary, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Republic of the Philippines
Tel/Fax: +63 2 9318191
Twitter: @dswdserves, @dinkysunflower
4. Hon. Loreta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
Fax: +63 2 9290102
Tel: + 63 2 9285655
5. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo
6. Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense (DND)
Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City 1110
Fax: +63 2 982 5640
Tel: +63 2 982 5638
7. Hon. Teresita Quintos-Deles
Secretary, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
7th Floor, Agustin 1 Building
F. Ortigas Jr. Road,
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel: +63 2 6360701
Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.